What a year for Tiger Woods! He wins the Masters in April, his 15th career Major victory, and ties Sam Snead with his 82nd career win in November. Then as team captain he leads the United States President Cup team to a 16-14 victory over the Internationals team.
It’s no secret—Tiger is the greatest golfer of his generation, and in my view the greatest golfer of all time. No captain at age 43 had led his team to victory in the President’s Cup in 25 years.
Ernie Els, captain of the International team, guided his team to an early 4-1 lead after day one. Tiger teamed with Justin Thomas for the only American victory on day one. In fact, the International team lead 6½ to 3½ over the Americans after day two. Again, Tiger playing with Thomas won a point for the USA team.
The Americans had to be distracted by Patrick Reed, who was just 1-3 and fighting his own distractions because of the controversy of a rules violation the week prior in Tiger’s tournament, the World Hero Challenge.
Reed was heckled on every hole by the locals. In fact, his caddie was banned from Sunday’s final because he shoved a spectator. The mentally strong Tiger kept his team’s focus on the prize.
Tiger did not play at all on Saturday. As captain, he guided his team to close the International’s lead to 10-8 after three days, headed to the 12 singles matches on Sunday “Down Under” in Melbourne, Australia.
Tiger went out first and set the tone for the great comeback by winning his singles match over the Internationals’ hottest player, Abraham Ancer. Woods won the match 3-2 to finish undefeated 3-0 in the 2019 event and set the President’s Cup all-time mark for most victories with 27.
Tiger’s win closed the margin to 10-9 and set the tone for the Americans to come back by following their captain’s lead, winning the singles 8-4 and retaining the President’s Cup. The Americans tied a President’s Cup record set in 1994, the first year of that tournament, by winning 8 of 12 matches in singles.
The victory was dramatic because, although they were the favorites, playing halfway around the world on the historic Royal Melbourne course and coming from behind was satisfying for the Americans. The last time the Internationals had the lead going into the singles was 2003, and they earned a tie in South Africa.
It was an emotional win indeed for the USA and player-captain Tiger Woods, who was the only player of the 24 for both teams to go 3-0. How sweet it is.